Hockey Canada has developed the Instructional Stream Program to act as a supplementary coaching education program. These courses (Skating, Developing Defensemen, Skills, Goaltending, and Small Area Games), are offered to coaches in Alberta free of charge and are delivered by Hockey Alberta trained Instructors. The clinics consist of three hours of classroom and on-ice instruction, and offer coaches practical sessions on teaching skills and tactics. The clinics provide a welcoming environment for coaches to educate themselves on new skill development techniques for their players.
Efficient and effective skating is the foundation for all other hockey skills. Skating ability is directly related to puck control, shooting, and checking, and improving a players skating ability works towards improving all aspects of his/her game. Coaches will go through specific drills relating to balance, power and agility, forward stride, backward skating, transition, and quick feet and change of direction.
Specific drills and tools to support defense training. Coaches are introduced to the basic principles of defensive skating, regroup, neutral zone play, defensive zone 1-on-1 play, shooting, and individual breakout skills. The on-ice portion demonstrates drills focusing on these skills.
Develop the ability to confidently lead players through skill specific drills and then link them to game application. Learn how to teach skills for technique and results, and develop an understanding of the components required for skill acquisition.
Goaltending is a specialized position that minor hockey coaches often find challenging to lead and teach. Learn the foundation of technical skills including skating, stance, moving, positioning, save selection and puck control. Along with the technical aspect of goaltending, coaches will be introduced to practice utilization, communication and specific drills related to goaltending.
Every practice should contain some form of game-situation and competitive drills, but not necessarily through traditional scrimmage activities. Small area games allow more players to be active, while handling the puck in a smaller area and making quicker decisions. Coaches can work on technical skills, individual tactics and team tactics in a manner that is seen as fun by the players.